#YNaijaSportsExtra: Irony as presumably racist sports brand; NASCAR gets a black owner

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing; Nascar, an American auto racing company, gets a new outlook as it welcomes its second black owner. Basketball legend and native of South Carolina, Michael Jordan, decided to pay homage to his country boy heritage by investing in a league that is a huge part of his home town.

Michael Jordan is famous for holding large stakes in the sports world. He is the CEO of the Jordan shoe brand, a famous sneaker line that has taken over the global market. He is also a majority shareholder in Charlotte Hornets, one of the 30 NBA teams, and he is reported to have funded SportsRadar, a Switzerland sports data company.

Michael Jordan and, three-time Daytona 500 winner, Denny Hamlin, have formed a single-car Nascar Cup Series team, with Bubba Wallace as their driver.

This in itself barely makes for a major headline. However, the uniqueness of this story lies in the fact that Nascar has had a huge problem with diversity since its inception. Jordan is one of only two black owners in the entire company, and Bubba Wallace is the only black full-time driver in the league.

In June this year, when the Black Lives Matter campaign was in full gear, it was reported that a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall, symbolising the barbaric practices of radical racists groups hanging black people, which was prevalent in the 1800s. Though, it was later found out that the noose was no more than a handle on a garage door. Still, the racial segregation in Nascar has been extensively glaring.

In a statement Jordan made, he addressed the diversity problem with Nascar, stating: “Historically, Nascar has struggled with diversity and there have been few black owners. The timing seemed perfect as Nascar is evolving and embracing social change more and more.”

Jordan’s team is set to begin participation in the coming year.

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